Squid Game Episode 3 Recap: The Man With the Umbrella - VRGyani News and Media

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Squid Game Episode 3 Recap: The Man With the Umbrella

Editor's note: The following contains spoilers for Squid Game Season 1, Episode 3, "The Man With the Umbrella"Squid Game’s Episode 3 picks up with the players returning to the game as the camera scrolls over the SUVs carrying them, gassed as usual, onto the ferry that takes them to the island. Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon) finds his way onto a van and, in the ferry, kills red suit number 29, taking his circle shape mask and uniform. This is Jun-ho's key to infiltrate the hellish game and is the first insurrection of the episode.

This time, we see the process the players go through when they arrive, still unconscious. Their watches and shoes are taken off, and they are moved onto their backs to get their clothes off and player uniform on. All this is done by the red suits.

Kang Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-yeon) puts a pocketknife (that she probably brought from home) into one of the red suits’ pockets while they are undressing her, then takes it back once they’ve put on her uniform (at the end of Episode 2, she positions her head in the van so she doesn’t pass out from the gas). She is so good.

When they wake the following day, there is nervy resignation amongst the players. Nearly all the players who survive “Red Light, Green Light,” 187 out of 201, return (interestingly, 187 in the California penal code means murder). Their return also signifies an analogy of abuse, where the abused returns to the abuser, after the abuser gaslights the abused into thinking they made an independent choice in coming back.

RELATED: 'Squid Game' Episode 1 Recap: Let the (Hunger) Games Begin

The players partner with each other. Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) gets Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), Ali Abdul (Anupam Tripathi), and Oh II-nam (O Yeong-su) on his team. Han Mi-nyeo (Kim Joo-ryoung), the episode’s tour de force and my new role model, thinks that partnering with Jang Deok-su (Heo Sung-tae) and his crew will be good for her. She proposes it, and they humiliate her. She and Kang begin a reluctant alliance.

The big shift in this episode is the red suits begin to look like the players, as they, too, shuffle through the Barbie Doll House hallway, are served food in small, tin trays, and addressed by a woman’s voice on speaker: “The day’s work has been completed.” They have the same countdown clock in their rooms, demanding the length of their activities, as the players do when they are playing their games. The red suits are also identified by number.

Back in his room, Jun-ho, in number 29's room, in his number 29 outfit, realizes he needs his mask off to eat. He takes it off, knowing if he does anything different, he will draw suspicion. There are red suits in the control room watching the red suits in their rooms; everyone is watching everyone.

Han needs to pee and this is a fantastic scene. “Hey, Triangle,” she shouts to the red suit, who won’t let her through. He does when she threatens to pee on the ground, and Kang shows up at the last minute, saying she needs to go, too. In the bathroom, Han takes a container of cigarettes out of her vagina, and Kang shows up at her stall. She hoists Kang up through the vent to investigate any potential clues. While Han keeps the red suit out by feigning diarrhea, Kang slithers across the shaftway and finds the red suits cooking a greenish soup, pouring in a white substance. The Triangle Man on watch, as Han calls him, eventually barges into the bathroom and their stall.

Han says this is sexual harassment, screaming that “once I get out of here, I’m going to sue you, bastard.” Consent has been weaponized against the players since the beginning, with their screwed-either-way release form, how the crew undresses them after they have gassed them, and now, how Triangle Man bursts open a bathroom stall with two women. The suing reference is excellent because it’s the first time a player relates their situation to post-game consequence: revenge.

In his jail type bed at night, Jun-ho/29 is taking notes about what’s happening. “Deserted island, abdutions, surveillance, and masks,” he types into his phone. It’s an obvious take that Squid Game is a critique of capitalism, this being an extension of its extreme, nightmarish possibilities, but the series is also teaching us something more mundane, less sardonic. This lesson is about companionship and the power of the mind, the successes and fallacies of individual thought, and how individual thought becomes collective for positive or negative ends.

Sang-woo notices that Kang is not eating her morning pastry. Kang tells Han that she smelled sugar watching the red suits in the kitchen. Sang-woo picks apart his pastry, finding a small piece of paper that says "honeycomb." Something insiduous is revealed about the order and depth of the games. The red suits are tagging a certain player's food with reference to the next game; they are feeding the players the possibility of their death. Most of them are still eating when the accouncer says the second game will begin shortly.

The red suits enter the arena first, a playground with a multiclored fence and a blue, cloudy sky. Then, the players file in. They pick a shape, either a circle, triangle, star, or an umbrella. Seong chooses the umbrella because his mother chastised him for losing one when he was young. The players' new mindset is, "if I mess up, I die."

The editing is tight, increasing suspense, as each player takes their tin and opens it. The game is "Sugar Honeycombs," confirming what Kang likely saw was the red suits making these. The must cut their shape out with a needle in ten minutes. They begin, hunched over the floor, the red suits roaming with guns. The game is hard because the wafer breaks easily; Seong is especially struggling with the intricate shape of the umbrella. When a mistake happens and the first person is shot, everyone has to find a way to focus, to save their life as people drop dead all around them.

Our regular crew starts to win, Sang-woo and Ali first, and winners are told to leave the arena. 29/Jun-ho is caught by another red suit in the arena too early because, they say, 29 is on clean-up-dead-bodies duty. 29/Jun-ho says he was confused and is told, threateningly, to stay after the game; someone will talk to him about this confusion.

When Seong’s sweat hits the wafer, he realizes it is melting, so he begins licking it. Han wins, using a confiscated lighter to burn away the honeycomb edges, then eats her star with relish in a red suit's face before handing the lighter to Jang in an effort to maintain that proposed alliacne (Han is the bomb). Other players see Seong licking the wafer and begin to as well. Creepy music starts playing; most of the remaining players are now making oral love to the wafers as people around them are being kill-shot. What a game!

Seong passes, just in time. A player flips out, stabbing a red suit in the eye with the needle, screaming about how the game is rigged. He threatens to kill the red suit he holds hostage. The other red suits calmly turn to the losers and shoot everybody in one move; we see a close-up of blood dripping off the swings. The player, more shaken, demands that the red suit he has hostage take off his mask; he can't be more than 19 years old. “You’re so young," says the hostage-taker. "How’d you end up like this?” Then, he kills himself.

Front Man (Lee Byung-hun) enters the arena for the first time, killing the red suit the player held hostage. Front Man reminds his team that once someone knows your idenitity, it — the game, your life, everything — is over. As elimination boxes (caskets, really) are brought in, 29/Jun-ho picks up the mask of the red suit who was killed. It is a square, an upgrade from the circle he was wearing, and the episode ends. Is survival as easy as switching your identity, though? And to what end? To get ahead a little more in the game, prolonging your own death? But for how long?

KEEP READING: 'Squid Game' Episodes, Ranked from Worst to Best



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